Defense against the feds... - Otero County Takes The Lead
STATE OF NEW MEXICO
WHEREAS: Family based and run ranching operations have been established in New Mexico and Otero County for over 400 years; and
WHEREAS: Family based and run ranching operations have been an essential element in the development of the history, customs, culture and economic stability of the rural communities and counties; and
WHEREAS: Family based and run ranching operations have private property rights encumbered upon Federal lands through water rights and private allotments in the nature of an easement; and
WHEREAS: Family based and run ranching operations have been and continue to be a price-taking, industry impacted by market forces not within the industry's control, due to international treaties such as NAFTA and GATT which negatively impacts our local custom, culture and economic stability; and
WHEREAS: Family based and run ranching operations have been and continue to be assaulted by environmental organizations through Federal land management agencies and law suits; and
WHEREAS: Family based and run ranching operations continue to experience increases in operational costs, losses in stocking rates, restrictions on their land use and the resulting threats to their family and business stability; and
WHEREAS: The Board of County Commissioners is primarily responsible for the protection of the health, safety and well being of the citizens of Otero County and the customs, culture and economic vitality of the county's existing ranching families, and businesses; and
WHEREAS: Family based and run ranching operations possess significant knowledge, science and information about local range conditions with a proven record of land stewardship; and
WHEREAS: it is essential that the Board of County Commissioners of Otero county intervene, to stop outside forces that are working to destroy the customs, culture and economic base and prosperity of the County of Otero and its citizens; and
WHEREAS: The Board of County Commissioners of Otero County has demonstrated its commitment to obtaining the best available science, data and monitoring information to understand the complex relationship between the cattle grazing industry and its allotments on State and Federal Lands together with the issues of Forest Health, Watershed health and protection, overpopulation in the biomass across the full spectrum of tree diameters, wild ungulate grazing and forage use patterns that adversely impact riparian and non-riparian areas in the forest; and
WHEREAS: The Board of County Commissioners of Otero County has invested tens of thousands of dollars of public funds to commission various experts to study, monitor and report on the complex relationship referred to above.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County, New Mexico that an ordinance establishing a County Advisory Grazing Board be adopted:
Section 1. PURPOSE:
The Otero County Grazing Advisory Board will advise the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County on all Federal land ranching income to County and schools, economic and social well being, rangeland conditions trends, watershed and forest health, trends alternatives and action needed to protect the County's taxbase, private investment-backed expectations, substantive and procedural rights, and retain and stabilize the family run livestock operations and grazing allotments suitable for that range.
Furthermore the Grazing Advisory Board serve as the conduit through which the science, data and monitoring information that has been developed by the County is provided to the various decision makers in the Federal and State agencies managing public lands in Otero County, so that the most accurate, up to date, and complete scientific and other information is available to them when they institute studies for decision making purposes. .
Section 2. OBJECTIVES:
In advising the Otero County Commission, the Otero County Grazing Advisory Board shall:
A. Coordinate with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to satisfy the purposes of this Ordinance; and
B. Coordinate its activities to fulfill the purposes and requirements of the Taylor Grazing Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Range Improvement Act, and the National Forest Management Act; and
C. Advise, recommend, consult, coordinate and cooperate with State and Federal resource agencies, related to grazing, livestock operations, range planning and management to improve the stability of the livestock operations, improve rangeland conditions, promote watershed restoration and Forest health.
Section 3. FUNCTIONS:
The Otero County Grazing Advisory Board shall accomplish the following functions:
A. Establish and coordinate intergovernmental grazing advisory structures and processes with the BLM, Forest Service, and State Land Office; and
B. Coordinate and assist in the development and implementation of scientific and standardized range monitoring programs for each livestock operation in the County; and
C. Coordinate with and assist Federal and State agencies in improving livestock operations, stewardship practices, and rangeland management and/or restoration, where necessary; and
D. Coordinate and recommend carrying capacities of the range, seasons, of use, drought management, modification of boundaries, alteration of stock management practices, wild ungulate management and removal, forest restoration, biomass removal and management, and any other matters affecting the administration of this ordinance consistent with Federal, State and Local resource laws and regulations.
E. Advise and make recommendations on each grazing permit or lease, especially for grazing renewal or re-issuance of permits or leases.
F. Provide recommendations for use of the range improvement funds as well as other sources of funds for improving the range and livestock conditions and trends.
Section 4. COMPOSITION/SELECTION:
The Otero County Grazing Advisory Board shall be composed of three (3) members who own U.S. Forest Service Allotments, three (3) members who own Bureau of Land Management Allotments and one (1) member who is a State School Land Lessee. ( State Land Office Allotment)
These members are to be nominated by their peers, but are selected and serve at the pleasure of the Otero Board of County Commissioners.
The New Mexico State University's Range Improvements Task Force, the nationally recognized authority in range research and evaluations, shall be requested to provide a member, with voice and vote, to the Advisory Grazing Board. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture shall be requested to provide a member with voice and vote to the Advisory Grazing Board.
The Grazing Advisory Board officers and organizational By-laws shall be established by the board.
The U.S. Forest Service, BLM, State Land Office and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish be invited to have one representative each, with a voice and no vote to attend all meetings of the Advisory Grazing Board.
Any individual organization that may be able to provide scientific, legal or any other pertinent information will be invited to attend meetings of the Advisory Grazing Board in order to provide specialized expertise, and will have a voice with no vote.
Section 5. COMPLIANCE WITH NEW MEXICO OPEN MEETINGS ACT:
All meetings will conform to the requirements of the New Mexico Open Meetings Act.
PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED during a regular Otero County Commission
meeting on July 8th 2003.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]